The North Pole is home to the world’s largest toy manufacturing and distribution company, Santa’s Workshop. Every year on December 24th, Old Saint Nick is responsible for delivering toys to an estimated 2.2 billion children across the globe. He was finding a lot of elf error in the manual inventory and warehouse processes and knew he needed a change. That’s where Apptricity came in.
Santa decided to implement Apptricity’s Inventory and Warehouse solutions at the beginning of 2017 to find some relief from the errors and inefficiencies. As toys were made throughout the year, they were given RFID tags and entered into the brand-new cloud-based solution. Each toy was assigned to one of the good girls or boys on Nick’s tremendous list. As the year rolled by, Workshop management had real-time visibility of all the toys available and could easily compare the information to “The List” to see what still needed to be checked off.
According to Head Workshop Supervisor, Buddy the Elf, “Cookie breaks every 15 minutes are strictly enforced by the Elf Union. Unfortunately, that means we have to start our counts over or make a guess where we left off. Last year we had 25 million BB-8 droids when we only needed 12, it was a disaster! Now Santa has us using Apptricity software and we can see all the toy counts and where they are in this gigantic warehouse!”
The elves were able to finish all the toys by December 1st which was a first for The Workshop. “There was a lot of miscounting and overproducing so we’re usually scrambling right before Christmas to get everything made and wrapped for each child. In the past we’ve even had to buy toys that we were short on…can you imagine?!” said Buddy. “Now we have electronic inventory reports, so we were able to start planning for next year!”
Since the toys were already utilizing RFID technology, Santa decided it would be smart to implement Apptricity Field Services and make his sleigh a connected service vehicle (CSV). “I’ll let you in on a Christmas secret: my bag can hold every single toy in the entire Workshop Warehouse. That’s a lot of inventory to keep up with in the field,” said Santa. “As CEO I have to make sure that everything is accounted for and all of the elves’ hard work isn’t wasted.”
An RFID interrogator was fixed to Santa’s bag and sleigh so that he could see in real-time as toys were loaded inside. Later, Santa was able to see a complete view of toys available, the child they are intended for, and when they were removed from the bag and delivered. This provided automatic inventory updates on the sleigh and recorded delivery location instantly.
Another challenge Santa had in the field was keeping track of assets. In the past, Santa has been known to leave behind a glove, hat, cellphone or even his sack of toys! To retrieve these incredibly valuable items, Santa would have to try and remember the last place he used them and then deploy a Special Ops team of elves to retrieve the items before they were found by a child. Now all the assets were tagged with an RFID tag and tracked in real-time. When Santa leaves the sleigh to slide down a chimney, the assets are automatically checked out at that location. As Santa returns to the smart-sleigh, he can use his tablet to know immediately whether or not the assets returned with him.
An unexpected value he found from implementing Field Services is a more efficient delivery route. Now Santa has turn-by-turn directions – a standard feature of Field Services. The Reindeer Team have expressed gratitude for the easier, safer routes provided by the system most notably from its leader, Rudolph, who guides the sleigh but was more than happy to have some of the pressure off him.
“By combining Apptricity solutions and North Pole magic the elves, reindeer, and myself are able to deliver a joyful and more productive holiday experience,” said Santa.